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Rider, Tindell to square off in council race

Betty Bean
Government/Politics columnist

Candidates in the next city election cycle will be making formal announcements soon, and although a multitude of rumors swirl about the mayor’s race in 2019, no one has gone public yet. On the other hand, the District 4 City Council seat that Holston Hills resident Nick Della Volpe will vacate in December 2017 is drawing high-quality, high profile competition.

Lauren Rider, former president of the Old North Knoxville Neighborhood Association, plans to announce her candidacy after the holidays. Rider, a librarian at the Pellissippi State Division Street campus, is co-chair of the Broadway Corridor Taskforce and has been active in community issues since she moved to Knoxville 12 years ago.

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Shanks won’t run again; Burchett sings for Dolly

Betty Bean
Government/Politics columnist

Circuit Court Clerk Cathy Quist Shanks will not run for re-election in 2018, she told the Shopper News last week.

Shanks, whose job includes running the Civil Sessions and Juvenile courts, will have served 20 years in office by the time Election Day ’18 rolls around. She said she promised her husband, Greg Shanks, in 2014 that this would be her last term, and that she might have come to this decision sooner, if not for some unfinished business – completion of the build-out of Juvenile Court and conversion to “paperless” digital record keeping – that she wanted to complete.

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Hutchison may be enforcer for Trump

Victor Ashe
Government/Politics columnist

As the incoming Trump administration gets ready to take office Jan. 20, there will be a changeover in the U.S. attorneys and U.S. marshals across the country. Former Knox County Sheriff Tim Hutchison is widely mentioned as becoming U.S. marshal. The position, along with the U.S. attorney, must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate, which by tradition means Sens. Corker and Alexander will have to sign off on it to become effective.

Whoever it is, there must be vetting, an actual presidential nomination plus a vote by the Senate. It will be June 2017 before a new marshal and U.S. attorney actually take office, assuming there are no delaying issues.

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Cash for Classrooms

Distributing $250 to 20 classrooms in 2017.  Deadline to apply: Friday, Dec. 16, 2016.

Apply via email to:, subject line “Cash for Classrooms”. Please include: teacher name, school name, teacher email, and a brief description of what your class would do with the money.

Sponsored by: Angela Floyd School for Dance and MusicPhil Nichols InsuranceSofas and MoreUT Federal Credit Union • Shopper News

Is Tennessee ready for a woman governor?

Betty Bean
Government/Politics columnist

For anybody who didn’t get enough politics this fall, here’s an interesting scenario developing on the state scene. Three of the folks who’d like for Bill Haslam to hand them the keys to the governor’s residence when he leaves office in January 2018 are all Republicans, all from Middle Tennessee, all women.

House Speaker Beth Harwell and two members of the state’s congressional delegation – Marsha Blackburn and Diane Black – are prime contenders to succeed Haslam. Despite similarities of party, locality, age, race, marital status and gender, the three couldn’t be more different, say those who know them.

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Green touts combat service

Sandra Clark

Sen. Mark Green, R-Clarksville, has an interesting story. He told it last Friday at the year-end banquet of the Powell Business and Professional Association.

Green, who grew up “on a dirt road” in Mississippi, was trained as a physician in the U.S. Army. A graduate of West Point, he went on to become an Army Ranger. He accompanied Delta Force soldiers in combat as a field doctor, and his most famous patient was Saddam Hussein.

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